In Brief

Citroen E-Mehari revealed

'Chic' new electric vehicle from Citroen launches next spring – but not in UK

Citroen unveiled the E-Mehari today – a quirky all-electric vehicle that Top Gear calls the "coolest thing since sliced baguette" – but unfortunately it won't be coming to the UK.

Based around the Citroen Cactus M concept revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this year, the E-Mehari is made of thermoformed plastic, which Citroen claim is maintenance and dent free, and also has a waterproof interior. It is powered by a 30kW Lithium Metal Polymer battery pack.

It claims a fairly respectable (for a small EV) range of 124 miles, placing it right amongst the Nissan Leaf and the soon-to-be improved range of the equally fashionable BMW i3. Its top speed is compromised though, as the little E-Mehari tops out at 68 mph. However, Citroen has designed the car with looks in mind, claiming the E Mehari is "stylish, confident, off-beat and even sassy."

It takes its name from the original Mehari, Citroen's iconic utility buggy from the late 1960s. The concept Cactus M introduced at Frankfurt earlier this year used many original Mehari styling cues, only interpreted into Citroen's contemporary design language. The E-Mehari does the same, the slats on the side of the doors offer a nod to the car's history, as well as the emphasis on being open to the elements.

According to Top Gear, the E-Mehari is shorter, but taller and wider than a Volkswagen Polo, and much of its underpinnings are shared with the Bollore Bluecar – a small French-made electric vehicle which can be rented from various charging points in Paris.

On top of this humble architecture, Citroen has built a small stylish four seater, with a folding soft-top roof.

Citroen has long been interested in producing a convertible version of the C4 Cactus, one of the company's big sellers, Autocar reports. Some analysts say that by putting the E-Mehari into production Citroen may be trying to determine how a drop-top C4 Cactus would be received.

Auto Express believes the car will go on sale in France in spring 2016, and is likely to start at a price of around €25,000.

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